F1 testing: McLaren was stopped by '£2 problem' with exhaust bolt

McLaren's running in the first 2018 Formula 1 test at Barcelona was compromised by a "£2 problem" earlier this week

F1 testing: McLaren was stopped by '£2 problem' with exhaust bolt

The MCL33 suffered some fire damage on Tuesday when the bolt failed and the exhaust came loose while Stoffel Vandoorne was driving, leading to a lengthy period of downtime.

On Thursday McLaren had a different issue with high temperatures at the rear damaging the bodywork due to a hole in a heat shield, although it was cosmetic and not much time was lost.

The car has continued to run with the same burn-damaged engine cover, due to a lack of a replacement.

"It's a stupid bolt that broke in the exhaust," said racing director Eric Boullier of the first issue.

"So it was a £2 problem which cost us a lot of track time, because everything was burned after in the back of the car, so we had to rebuild the gearbox and the back end.

"Nothing else than this. It didn't cost us much to revise the design, it's more about the track time we lost. As you can see the design is still the same and the car is still running."

Regarding Thursday's problem, he added: "Cooling is the first matter that every team is managing in the first week of testing.

"In a case where you have a new engine partner, you might have some sort of heat soak pocket in the car.

"We can see on the bodywork there are a couple of stripes, but this is just because we have to make sure there are some proper heat shields in place, consider all the heat soak pockets, and make sure we can modify and change the cooling inside the bodywork."

Despite the problem, better weather allowed McLaren to make some good progress with the car on Thursday.

"Finally we got rid of bad weather and mechanical glitches in the car so we could follow our programme," Boullier added.

"We obviously adjusted our programme, we have compressed it to give some priorities to some items, but today we are now starting to gather data on aero, and even work on some mechanical changes now."

McLaren has done a lot of running on Pirelli's new hypersoft tyre, even though it will only be used at a small number of grands prix.

"It's just because tyre models predicted that if it's too cold this is the only tyre that you can work with," Boullier explained.

"It turned out that everybody tried soft or ultrasoft or hypersoft or whatever it is, the one that also worked very well is the medium tyre."

Boullier says the team has clear targets for next week's second test.

"First to do a race distance, and obviously doing also some live pitstops, which obviously we've given more focus this year, so we have some new equipment and stuff to try," he said.

"So a race distance will be the key next week."

shares
comments
F1 testing: Renault's Nico Hulkenberg leads drying Thursday session
Previous article

F1 testing: Renault's Nico Hulkenberg leads drying Thursday session

Next article

F1 testing: Hamilton tops final day of first test on medium tyres

F1 testing: Hamilton tops final day of first test on medium tyres
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022